Christmas 2016

I think there’s been a lot of footerin’ going on this Autumn. Not that many significant events but still plenty going on.

Our trip to the CompassSport Cup Final near Barnsley prompted visits to York, Chesterfield and Anglesey where Suse bought a very nice fibre glass kayak from Nigel Dennis. I think she has sold her Scorpio and likes the new boat, though we haven’t had a long trip with it yet.  The orienteering was less successful but we wagged the ECKO flag even if none of the official reports that I’ve read even mention us!

Later in October we had a visit from Emily, Caitlin and Roslyn who had left Richard at home finishing their house alterations. Caitlin was introduced to her Christmas present (an oak rocking horse) which was just as well as the rocking mechanism needed to be re-designed.

I copied the system used on Kathleen’s horse in Chesterfield and it’s much better now. Kathleen later gave her seal of approval when she visited at the end of the month.

Her visit coincided with the Tarbert Book Festival which included a most pleasant evening listening to Chris Brookmyre and sampling Springbank’s very fine Longrow malt and Old Raj gin.

This year’s book festival was a bit of a breakthrough with numbers finally approaching ‘worth the effort’ status and a successful and much appreciated writing competition was launched.

November saw Suse away in Samye Ling for more qigong training, followed by another well attended workshop in Tarbert and me resurrecting some rescue and navigation training with Kayak Dave in the West Loch. Brr! Decided I need a new drysuit.

We headed to Stonehouse to celebrate Suse’s birthday with a wee party, courtesy of Emily. Caitlin was very disappointed that we didn’t play pass the parcel but Roslyn wasn’t fussed.

During the month, I also started getting my 5k times down to something approaching respectability. I managed the fairly new Park Run at Livingston (Suse tried it for the first time so achieved a PB) and saw some “well kent” faces en route to a Silver Wedding celebration in Edinburgh. The highlight of the local 5 k’s came when I took “Fletch”, the neighbour’s dog out for a run and got my pb for the Spion Kop route down to 28.57.

Since returning from Canada, where our on/off hot tub aspirations were re-kindled, I had been checking out a few possibilities. Suse finally decided we had been faffing about too long and told me to get on with an order. So, we took the plunge (sorry) ordered a Scandinavian version and made the most of a spell of dry weather to get it installed. Realising that the existing surfacing in the vicinity of the new tub was not ideal, we sorted out a scheme with some lads from Glasgow and, would you believe, everything proceeded as planned and it looks as though it will be ready for Christmas.

There was a flurry of Fynesider  sing outs in the lead up to Christmas. Some were better than others but all good fun. Final practice of the year takes place tomorrow at Larick House with expectations that “party pieces” will be performed. More about this perhaps if it lives up to expectations.

It just remains to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year.

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